In Your Share:
Brussels sprouts are finally on! They’re one of my favorites and a nice new fall flavor, but they sure take their time sizing up. We’ve had them for a couple weeks at the farm stand, but we only just now have enough for all of you. If you think you hate brussels sprouts, it might be because you’ve never had fresh ones cooked well or it might be genetic (some people have a gene that makes them taste like aspirin). Or maybe they’re just not your jam. Ours, though, are super fresh and nutty and delicious any way you make them. I often roast them, either whole, halved, or shredded, and more recently I’ve gotten into sauteing them with leeks or shallots. They’re also good raw, steamed, or braised.
I don’t typically do much to trim our brussels. I find the outer leaves and base are all perfectly tender and edible, and I only trim them if there are bad spots or a particularly long stem end. Brussels are like cauliflower in that they are excellent raw or lightly cooked, but they have an entirely different flavor profile that comes out as they caramelize with longer cooking times. As such, they’re versatile and easy to use.
Also new today is a lovely head of red cabbage. These are long season storage cabbages, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great for fresh eating. They are dense, heavy heads, which helps them to keep better. They’ll store for several weeks in a bag in the fridge, but the flavor will be best fresh. This cabbage is great raw in slaws or tacos, braised, sauteed with brussels sprouts, or used in stuffings. I assume it would make good sauerkraut, though I haven’t tried it myself.
We had yacon in the shares a couple weeks ago, but since it’s a new vegetable for many of you I’ll copy the info here. Remember, it’s best raw, even though it doesn’t look like it! Last night I made a Peruvian salad with quinoa, yacon, tomatoes, cilantro and parsley and it was delicious.
Yacon (pronounced yah-CONE) is a member of the sunflower family from the Andes. This is the tuberous vegetable that looks like a sweet potato, oblong with dark skin. We like to eat it raw, and it is sweet, tender, mild flavored, and juicy. Think of jicama, asian pear, or even a cucumber. We most often slice it up and eat it plain as a refreshing snack or side dish. I like the flavor of the skin (it’s earthy and somewhat bitter), but you may prefer it peeled. It will brown soon after cutting, you can toss it with a bit of lemon juice to keep it white. It can also be cooked, though we love it’s crunchy texture so much that we never do. Some people like to juice it (we recommend peeling it first). Store it in the fridge in a plastic bag, it will dry out and soften if left on the counter for long.
Here is a link to a more in depth article about yacon in Mother Earth News. One thing worth noting is that yacon’s sweetness is from inulin, which makes it extremely low in calories and a better choice for diabetics.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This is very easy and is my favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts. If you’ve never liked Brussels sprouts before, I suggest trying this while they are still very fresh and see if you change your mind. Serves 4.
Preheat the oven to 400. Spread 1 lb Brussels sprouts in a baking dish so that they are one layer deep. Leave small ones whole and halve or quarter larger ones so all the pieces are a relatively uniform size. Stir together with:
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
A sprig of rosemary
Roast, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender and the outsides have begun to caramelize, 20 to 35 minutes depending on the size. Remove the rosemary sprig and serve.